5-08 When to go for gold
In Figure 1, you have a two-chance hand with Pure Shifted Chows. But what happens next? You pick . That’s a tough decision. Do you break up your hand and try to add a Full Flush to your hand? Or do you discard it, and keep what you have? It’s certainly tempting go for gold and try for a higher score --- especially considering the fact you might even make Four Shifted Chows (Figure 2).
However, the proper play is to discard the . You have a large hand. You have an open-ended chow draw, giving you 8 tiles to finish. If your hand were the one shown in Figure 3, which has half the chances of finishing, you would have a good reason to break up your hand.
But even in that case, you should discard starting with the . The reason? If you draw your best choice is to discard and restore your Pure Shifted Chows, this time with double the chances.
What about the hand shown in Figure 4? You are ready with All Types (6 pts.) + Honor Pung (1 pt.) + Terminal Pung (1 pt.). An opponent discards . Do you meld a pung and create All Pungs? The answer is no: again you should keep your two-chance hand. The increased chances for a self-drawn finish are too valuable to give up. Self-drawing an 8-point hand gives you 48 points total. That’s the equivalent of taking a 24-point hand using an opponent’s discard. A hand with 8 or more tiles to finish (as in the two-chance hands above) has a high expectation. The value of being in this position must not be underestimated.
picked pung pung
Are there exceptions? Of course. Take Figure 5. You are ready on a hand of Two Dragons (6 pts.) + Voided Suit (1 pt.) + Terminal Pung (1 pt.). Then you pick . Suddenly, you have a chance at a 64-point hand. And your opponents can only see one of your dragons. If you can make ready soon, you are almost certain to make a large score on the unlucky player who draws the next . Some players might opt to keep what they have, but we recommend going for gold. Take a look at the board, determine what tiles are live, and discard either or .